It started with book adaptations—the final installments of Harry Potter, Twilight, and The Hunger Games all got split into two films, supposedly to give the stories enough time to conclude, but also as a way for a studio to get twice the profits if fans want to see how the franchise ends. Expanding movies into two halves has been a pretty hot trend, and Warner Bros. went one better by expanding The Hobbit from two movies to three in the middle of production, but this practice does seem to have died down a bit over the past couple of years.
However, we almost got another split for the upcoming sequel Kingsman: The Golden Circle, not because 20th Century Fox was looking to expand profits, but because co-writer/director Matthew Vaughn’s first cut of the film was 3 hours and 40 minutes long. Yes indeed, Collider’s own Steve Weintraub caught up with Vaughn at the press day for The Golden Circle, and the filmmaker revealed that after he completed his first cut, Fox broached the idea of releasing The Golden Circle in two parts—but he shut it down pretty quickly:
“I thought it was highly watchable… That was the part about being a sequel as well, I lost my discipline where you’re with a bunch of friends and you go, ‘Oh that’s a good idea’, and it was a good idea, but everything just got longer and longer and longer. There was a moment where the studio said, ‘Hey should we do The Golden Circle Part 1 and Part 2?’ and I went ‘Absolutely no way we’re doing that, this is The Golden Circle.’”
So what happened to that extra 1 hour and 20 minutes? Vaughn says he’s considering doing a new cut of the film for home video:
“But maybe I can do another cut. Some of the stuff we cut out was so good, as well, that I was very sad to see it cut. Normally when I edit, stuff that’s not good enough just gets cut out and it’s pretty quick to get down to a manageable length. You just go ‘Yeah that doesn’t really work.’ This time it was like, ‘That really works.’”
Don’t expect any of this footage to show up in the form of deleted scenes, as Vaughn isn’t a fan of putting those out into the public. But he does sound seriously interested in putting together a new, alternate cut of the film if the first one does well enough in theaters to warrant the extra time and money:
“I never really put deleted scenes on. I always say about filmmaking it’s like eating sausages, it’s best not to really know how we do it, I think it ruins the magic. I might do another cut of this film. I don’t think I’ll do deleted scenes, because obviously you don’t really understand the context, how it fits in, and they don’t polish them up properly. But I think it could be pretty cool to do a Kingsman: The Golden Circle – Version 2, it might be fun. If people see this I’ve got a real—and also that will spark some real debate about what I cut out and why, and I’m sure some people will say I was an idiot for doing it.”